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Key numbers on the road to getting fitter and healthier

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Your waistline will tell you all about the amount of visceral fat you have

Your waistline will tell you all about the amount of visceral fat you have

Your waistline will tell you all about the amount of visceral fat you have

I want to start exercising but am unsure about how I can measure my progress, I don’t want to go to the gym so I need to be able to measure it myself.

The good news is that you don't have to join a gym to get fit and you can easily measure your progress at home, ensuring that you stay motivated and focused for as long as possible.

I believe that by establishing goals and measuring them on a regular basis, weekly or every other week, you will get better results, work harder and find it easier to get healthier.

So lets take a look at what you can measure and how you can measure it.

1. The first is your resting heart rate (RHR). This tells you about your fitness levels. The lower the number the healthier you are. With exercise, the number comes down. To take your resting heart rate, simply take you pulse at the side of your neck or at the base of the wrist, count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply it by four. This gives you your RHR in beats per minute. No matter what the number is, the lower it is, the healthier your are. Take the measurement once a week, ideally in the morning before you get out of bed.

2. The second measurement, an incredibly important one, is your waistline. Your waistline will tell you all about the amount of visceral fat you have. This is the fat that surrounds your internal organs, is incredibly dangerous and we know it has links to pretty much every medical condition that there is. The higher your waistline, the greater the risk.

To take the measurerment, simply get a tape measure and place it around your waist, meeting at your belly button. Again, aim to measure this once a week, ideally in the morning and you should be aiming to get it below 40 inches. Waistlines above 40 inches place you in the high risk category for pretty much everything, but no matter what your waistline is, once you are beginning to reduce it you are getting healthier. The scary part is always the first time you measure, so face your fears.

3. The third element to measure is weight. For this you will need reliable weighing scales, on an even floor. Omron are a brand that we always recommend to our clients. There are two different types of weight on your body, muscle and fat. You want as much muscle and as little fat as you can. Weighing scales will provide you with a number combining the two, initially, when exercising, it will give you a good guide to your overall weight.

When you exercise you will increase your muscle or lean tissue and decrease your fat mass, which is exactly what you want to do. Similar to the other measurements, you should be looking to measure your weight once a week , ideally in the morning, as this will give you the most accurate reading. There can be fluctuations of as much as 6lbs between morning and evening, so always stick to the morning time.

Now you have your measurements, you can start your health journey.

The key bit is measuring, ideally, all three, at the same day and same time each week. When you begin to reach your goals don't forget to treat yourself to a small reward, this is the fun part and is another simple but effective way to ensure that you stay fit and healthy all year round.

I want to start exercising but am unsure about how I can measure my progress, I don't want to go to the gym so I need to be able to measure it myself.

Health & Living